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From the “Heart”land

October 20, 2006

This is a post admonishing any passer by by who knows Jesus as their Savior to keep in remembrance what a great salvation we have; the incredible price that Jesus paid on Calvary that we might live with him for all of eternity.  It sounds very basic as you hear it on a continuous basis; at least you SHOULD, if you fellowship with a bible believing assembly of saints.  I speak as one who didn’t keep this in the forefront as I should have in earlier years and when certain temptations came, I fell into sin.  I was in a backslidden state for thirteen years as a result.  Thirteen years that should have been used to proclaim the gospel.  So many folks passed through my life that I didn’t try to reach, all because of rebellion.  I praise God for awakening me from my slumber and for his mercy which truly does endure forever.  I learned a very important lesson the hard way, however, the repercussions still linger in certain ways.  Read Hebrews 3:12-14

“Take heed, brethren, leas there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.  But exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.  For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.”

This warning is to every saint as the slippage into stagnation can be set in motion in the most insinuated fashion and once that occurs, it’s a slippery slope to be sure.  The age that we find ourselves in is one of unparaleled delusion as the world is heading to it’s prophesied conclusion at break’neck speed.  In the coming days, holding fast the profession of your faith will have to be done in the face of “false signs, and wonders” along with seemingly ironclad “scientific proof” that would seem to totally discredit the gospel.  (There are true signs and true miracles that take place today, however there are  going to be false ones too.  If you know Jesus, you have the Holy Spirit abiding within and he will grant you discernment if you’re sensitive to him) Such efforts have been underway for years; actually since the garden.  As you recall, the serpent beguiled Eve through the desires of the flesh.  He told Eve that the tree wouldn’t cause death, but would open their eyes.  It would make them “like God” he said, knowing good and evil.  As you know, she saw that the tree was good for food and it was “a tree desired to make one wise.”  She took of the fruit and gave also to Adam, who was standing there with her, and knew what was happening but went ahead anyway.  (There are volumes of lessons in this one event)  The end result is what you see in the world today; that being that the imagination of mans heart is evil from his youth.  You’ve undoubtedly heart the new age slogan “man is basically good at heart.”  If that was true, there wouldn’t be a civil war in Iraq, you wouldn’t have children beiong gunned down in class, you wouldn’t have “gay pride marches” you wouldn’t have genocide taking place in Darfur, and you wouldn’t have more than half of the marriages in this land ending in divorce.  (Marriage is an institution ordained by God from the moment that he brought the woman to Adam and this institution is under attack like never before.)

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life”  This verse, found in Proverbs 4:23, is one that I quote often as it “says it all in a nutshell” concerning the matters of the heart.  Don’t slack off, even for a moment, in guarding your heart as the enemy is lying in wait for any opportunity that presents itself.  Here’s how Jesus explained it in Mark 7:18-23:

“And he said unto them, Are ye so without understanding also?  Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?  And he said,  That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:  All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

The apostle Paul wrote about the “different law working in our members” the old man that wants to partake of the old nature.  The sinful nature that abides in all of us that we must reign in continuously.  He wrote in I Corinthians 9:27

“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

That’s how serious it is.  That’s why I have to strive to put down my weakness of foolish jesting as it truly does lead to more ungodliness.  Goofing around seems harmless enough on the surface, however it will get you into an almost “trancelike mode” as seriosity takes a back seat to the desire of the flesh to make folks laugh.  I struggle with this on a daily basis along with all the things that we all strive for victory over.  Praise God for Jesus Christ, our High Priest forever who is able to “save us to the uttermost.”  Stay close to him.  Stay humble (read Isaiah 57:15)  Stay in repentance.  Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.  Do you remember the hour when you first believed?  Well your salvation is all the more closer than it was in that hour.  Jesus is returning.

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